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Gotta Have Someone to Hate

Reported by Nancy - November 15, 2004 -

FNL this morning (11/15) was short on "hard news" & long on opinions. They were obsessed with resignations from Bush's cabinet, especially Powell's, & took the opportunity to bash the CIA, the State Dept, the UN, France & Germany, & their all-time fave: liberals. They just have to put their "us vs. them" spin on everything.

Six people have now resigned from Bush's cabinet (out of 15 cabinet positions): Ashcroft (DoJ), Evans (Commerce), Powell (State), Veneman (Agriculture), Abraham (Energy) & Paige (Education). This HARD NEWS that FNL claims to deliver took up about 5 minutes of air time.

After this same information was repeated a number of times, at 12:01pm (ET), David Asman read Powell's resignation letter. [Comment: This is not hard news. Did anyone expect Powell to say "you're a schmuck & I can't stand it any more so I'm outta here"? Of course not. He's a diplomat, & his resignation letter was a perfect example of his diplomatic skills. But reading the letter gave FNL 2 minutes of air time to read text praising Bush.]

At 12:03pm (ET), Asman interviewed Wesley Clark (fmr Commander in Chief of NATO) & Robert Hunter (former US ambassador to NATO) to discuss Powell's resignation. Both Clark & Hunter showed off their diplomatic skills, in spite of Asman's attempts to put the "us-v-them" spin on everything. Asman led off by asking whether France & Germany *really* liked Powell [comment: those dastardly French & Germans!] Hunter noted that most people like Powell personally, but many thought he wasn't effective. Asman asked if Condoleeza Rica would be of more help as Secy of State. Clark pointed out that it's not just the person doing the job, it's a reflection of the policies of the President who appoints that person. Asman asked if our allies are willing to work with us [comment: if we have any left]. Hunter agreed with Clark that our allies are ready to respond if Bush reaches out. Asman then asked where we might need allies [comment: a question so moronic it just baffles me that anyone could even ask it]. Clark reeled off a short list -- NATO, Iran, North Korea, Iraq. Asman then asked Clark if he thought there would be future Kosovo-like interventions or actions by NATO. Clark said he thought it "very likely" & pointed out that NATO is in Afghanistan helping us right now. Asman ended by asking whether Hunter thought Powell should or would go into politics. Hunter said Powell would take his own counsel about his own future.

At 12:08pm (ET), Asman switched gears only slightly, covering the alleged "turmoil" at the CIA [comment: again with the "us-v-them" spin]. Major Garrett led off with a report that bashed the CIA for 1) abject failure in Iraq, 2) anti-Bush leaks & 3) inability to cope with their new mission in the War on Terror. Garrett showed a clip of Sen John McCain (R-AZ) pontificating about #2 (anti-Bush leaks) & how (new CIA director) Porter Goss is being "savaged" by people at the CIA who want the status quo. Garrett then said that "some Dems" fear that infighting at the CIA will distract Goss from doing his job [comment: but Garrett didn't bother to show a clip of any Dem saying that].

The one piece of HARD NEWS in all of this -- that Deputy Director John McLaughlin has resigned for "personal reasons" -- took less than a minute to convey.

After a brief interlude for upbeat reports from Iraq by Bret Baier (12:11pm ET) & Greg Palkot (12:16pm ET) [comment: short version of both reports: "we're winning, we're swell], it was back to bashing the CIA.

At 12:21pm (ET), Asman interviewed Tony Snow (Fox), Bill Sammon (Washington Times & frequent Fox commentator) & Mort Kondracke (Fox) about the "upheaval" at the CIA [comment: how's that for a "fair & balanced" panel?]. The discussion was essentially what you'd expect -- the same old "us-v-them" spin -- & included the following gems:
Snow: Bush knows the DC bureaucracy is not his friend, tenured professors at think tanks.
Kondracke: dead CIA directors are rolling in their graves, the CIA is waging war on Bush.
Sammon: the CIA was betting on Kerry, CIA & State Dept have liberal lifers who are trying to undermine the White House.

General comment: plenty of opinion & commentary, very little HARD NEWS. But of course that allows FNL to ignore Sudan, AIDS, North Korea, health care, Haiti, science, Aghanistan, voting irregularities in the past election -- well, add your own to the list of topics they just ignore.